Case Study: The Eleanor Boathouse at Chicago’s Park 571

The Eleanor Boathouse at Park 571, 2754 S. Eleanor, Chicago, IL 60608

Architect: Studio Gang Architects; Chicago
General Contractor: The Walsh Group- Walsh Construction
Installing Contractor: Anthony Roofing LTD
Finisher: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin
Manufacturer: EXTECH/Exterior Technologies, Inc.

The Eleanor Boathouse at Park 571 in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood celebrates the natural beauty, community recreation and environmental stewardship of the Chicago River. The Chicago River boathouses add to the new environmentally friendly vision of the city’s river. The Eleanor Boathouse specifically support the larger revival or recreation and ecology of the Chicago River.

The Eleanor Boathouse offers a 5,832-square-foot training center for rowing and a 13,171-square-foot boat storage building. The training center is heated and contains a workout center, multi-purpose community room, main office, and restrooms. The second building contains a rowing office, heated boat repair bay, vending area, and boat storage.

The larger of the Eleanor Boathouse’s two buildings features EXTECH’s translucent transom LIGHTWALL 3440 interlocking polycarbonate translucent wall system. The EXTECH system resembles rowing shells; this in part attracts community members to visit the Eleanor Boathouse facility.

The LIGHTWALL system does not require framing members within the glazing field, allowing for a clean aesthetic emphasizing the uniform roof.
The cellular polycarbonate reduces the dependency on electric lighting while also reducing solar heat gain as well as light pollution emanating from the building. LIGHTWALL 3440 uses 100% recyclable structural cellular polycarbonate along with 38.95% recycled aluminum framing, which is manufactured in Pittsburgh, PA.

There were only two people on the sight installing the entire substructure and entire system in a three-week time frame. The material is lightweight, less than 2 pounds per square foot, and a 15-20-foot-long section could be cared by one man. The LIGHWALL system is a simple system, allowing for easy installation and reduced the loading on the roof structure.

The system met all the project’s requirement of high thermal performance, fire rating, air filtration and water penetration while also withstanding high winds and cold temperatures that come off the river.

Along with EXTECH’s weather-ability, durability, sustainability and low maintenance system, the aluminum framing was painted black with a 70% PVDF resin-based finish, a coating that withstand the severities of time and nature.

The system used allows for the public facility to be used during any and every season, allowing the community’s five main rowing groups to have access all year round. The overall impact on the community is overwhelming.


If you would like to learn more about this project or the LIGHTWALL 3440, we're more than happy to chat! Please contact us for more information.